’s 5 in 3 Non-Profit Leadership Series: Jono Anzalone, Executive Director of Kennebunkport Climate Initiative
3 min readJan 6, 2021


Jono Anzalone at COP25 in Madrid

Welcome to’s 5 in 3 non-profit leadership series. We ask non-profit leaders all over the world to answer 5 question about their non-profit experience to create this 3-minute piece.’s mission is to empower organizations to thrive, inspire, and serve the world. Though we primarily do this through technology, providing a platform to share the stories and experiences of leaders in the non-profit space is also an important part of executing on that mission.

I am pleased to introduce Jono Anzalone. Jono serves as the executive director with the Kennebunkport Climate Initiative (KCI), formed in 2020 to educate, empower, and activate 10 million youth voices in the next 5 years around climate change. Jono came from a long tenure with the Red Cross, where he started as a youth volunteer in 1994, drawn to the work of the organization in alleviating human suffering. After more than two decades of responding to disasters, Jono drew increasingly concerned with the number of disasters being exacerbated by climate change. Inspired by the KCI mission to activate nonpartisan youth voices, Jono felt called to accelerate the dialogue on climate action.

How did you get your start in the non-profit space?

I started as a Red Cross volunteer in 1994, after walking into the Red Cross to sign up for a CPR/First Aid class. From there, I was hooked on the mission and purpose of non-profits.

What is one challenge you’ve encountered that you didn’t expect while working for a non-profit?

The project-based nature of non-profits, and dependency on earmarked funding from donors. Non-profits are held to standards not seen by for-profit counterparts, often asked to accept funding with very strict conditions, or sunset programs after a short number of years as to not develop dependency. Social services and humanitarian organizations (among other NGOs) are tasked with solving some of humanities toughest challenges yet are not provided adequate resources to do so. As Dan Pallotta stated, a renowned expert in the non-profit space, “If you put these five things together — you can’t use money to attract talent, you can’t advertise, you can’t take risks, you can’t invest in long-term results, and you don’t have a stock market — then we have just put the humanitarian sector at the most extreme disadvantage to the for-profit sector on every level, and then we call the whole system charity, as if there is something incredibly sweet about it…And they are tired of being told to “act more like a business” by businesspeople who refuse to allow them to use any of the real tools of business — adequate resources, to begin with.”

What is one opportunity you’ve identified because of the changes due to COVID-19?

The ability to program remotely, and still reach communities/individuals. The days of boarding a plan for hours of travel for a day-long (or less) workshop or meeting really forces us to ask, “is that carbon footprint necessary”?

What is your most effective fundraising medium?


What is one fundraising rule you live by?

Relationships matter! Fund development cannot be transactional.

Thank you for sharing your story Jono.

You can learn more about the Kennebunkport Climate Initiative and Jono below.

Jono Anzalone

Kennebunkport Climate Initiative:

Jono on LinkedIn:



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